Geek chic
February 13, 2010 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Meet Barbie the Computer Engineer... Barbie, the favorite of little girls everywhere, has been a teenage fashion model, concert pianist, astronaut and even a Miss America. But now there’s a new Barbie, with glasses and a Bluetooth earpiece, and boasting of being a computer engineer. Oh... and five things to make her more realistic.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar (53 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
JQuery is tough!
posted by bitslayer at 2:19 PM on February 13, 2010 [16 favorites]


The outfit looks like it was designed in '85
posted by delmoi at 2:22 PM on February 13, 2010


As a female software engineer, I wish we dressed like this. Barbie's outfit is cute as hell but I do think I'd be laughed out of town if I wore it to work.

I think pretty much over 50% of the people I've known in my life voted in this contest. I belong to a lot of networking organizations for female software engineers and I've lost track of the number of times I was asked to vote.

That "5 things to make her more realistic" link has an awesome idea though - there SHOULD be Linux, Mac and Windows engineer Barbie. They could all wear different fanboyish outfits and people would totally buy them for their offices at especially Linux/Mac shops. I think Apple and MSFT probably would have been willing to team up with Mattel to work on this - Microsoft in particular is all about recruiting women into the industry - and I bet Google would have helped fund the development of Linux Barbie in exchange for being put on the box. I just LOVE the idea of 3 Barbies lined up on a shelf rocking Penguin, Apple, and Windows shirts respectively. I probably would buy Linux Barbie for my office, in all honesty.

Missed opportunities! Or...sequel opportunities?
posted by crinklebat at 2:30 PM on February 13, 2010 [11 favorites]


Barbie's outfit is cute as hell but I do think I'd be laughed out of town if I wore it to work.

Or in public. Nobody likes a bluetooth headset.
posted by DU at 2:35 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sean Tevis twittered "If new Barbie was a real coder, she would be wearing a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt and drinking an energy drink."
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:37 PM on February 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


She should come with a set of tiny Star Wars figures!
posted by ignignokt at 2:39 PM on February 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bluetooth earpiece?
is this how they think we communicate?
really?

posted by localhuman at 2:47 PM on February 13, 2010


What is foosball?
posted by A189Nut at 3:17 PM on February 13, 2010


Ken's USB dongle sold separately.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:22 PM on February 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


A man walks into the toy store to get a Barbie doll for his daughter. So he asks the assistant, "How much is a Barbie?"

"Well," she says, "we have Computer Engineer Barbie for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Ball for $19.95, Barbie Goes Shopping for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Beach for $19.95, Barbie Goes Nightclubbing for $19.95, and Divorced Barbie for $265.00."

"Hey, hang on," the guy asks, "why is Divorced Barbie $265.00 when all the others are only $19.95?"

"Yeah, well, it's like this. Divorced Barbie comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's boat, Ken's furniture..."
posted by netbros at 3:24 PM on February 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


And when you push a button, she goes on a tear that starts with "it's about free as in freedom, not free as in beer."
posted by evidenceofabsence at 3:24 PM on February 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


Barbie the Toy Story 3 co-star
posted by Rhaomi at 3:29 PM on February 13, 2010


I think you mean "Free as in speech, not free as in beer", but anyway...

Those pink shoes she's wearing in the picture sure look like Crocs to me. Nobody has ever worn Crocs to my office.
posted by KGMoney at 3:33 PM on February 13, 2010


For this to be realistic, shouldn't there be three to six slightly creepy "nice guy" male engineers hovering nearby?
posted by maxwelton at 3:46 PM on February 13, 2010 [28 favorites]


She's got charm! And it certainly beats the "College Style" Barbie who had crayons and a coloring book as accessories...anxiously awaiting the inevitable "Comic Book Junkie" Barbie...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:46 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm glad there's a computer engineer Barbie. But a pink laptop? Yeeeeargh....
posted by Zinger at 3:47 PM on February 13, 2010


"Yeah, well, it's like this. Divorced Barbie comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's boat, Ken's furniture..."

That doesn't make any sense. Ken never had a job. Barbie was the one working all those jobs. Ken didn't even have a house. He never even came with a wallet, that deadbeat...
posted by anniecat at 3:48 PM on February 13, 2010 [22 favorites]


I'm glad there's a computer engineer Barbie. But a pink laptop? Yeeeeargh....

Maybe it doubles as an anime cosplay prop or something?
posted by acb at 3:50 PM on February 13, 2010


Divorced Barbie comes with Ken's house....

Tired.

I mean sure we can all argue that it may not be progress to give children [or their parents] something to shop for that is more indicative of kids' actual personal preferences as opposed to pervasive stereotyping. That said, I think this is more like Coors deciding to give it up and make highly visible gay-themed advertising for Pride Week. The fact that gay people are seen as capable of being shamelessly pandered to as everyone else is is also one stupid step down the march to real equality.

Unlike tired divorce jokes.
posted by jessamyn at 4:18 PM on February 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Want Mac Barbie. WANT.

But actually, I want her as a brunette, with a non-pink laptop.

I loved Barbie as a kid, had the dreamhouse and the purple sportscar and made up many adventures for her involving being Queen of the World/a flying superhero/etc. But if there had been a Barbie who wore cute glasses and was supposed to be smart..oh man.
posted by emjaybee at 4:23 PM on February 13, 2010


I kind of like this.
posted by rodgerd at 4:35 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


My Barbie was a marine biologist (living on Cape Cod), and Midge was a lawyer. I made them that way, not Mattel!
posted by jgirl at 4:37 PM on February 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


This is a step in the right direction, but I'm holding out for Chinese Gold Farmer Barbie.
posted by The Bellman at 4:48 PM on February 13, 2010


I wonder if Mattel realizes that once the web based voting was opened up with this category the voting would be totally gamed by the real female hackers?
posted by sammyo at 4:49 PM on February 13, 2010


Computer Engineer Barbie needs some ill-fitting T-shirts she got for free at various software release parties.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:00 PM on February 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'm offended by the glasses, which most other Barbies don't have. Us nerds don't all have poor eyesight! The blatent, disgusting stereotyping makes this look like a doll from at least the 70s.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:04 PM on February 13, 2010


If it was really done by a non-rigged web poll, we'd have Stephen Colbert Barbie with a Captain Malcolm Reynolds Barbie at a distant second.

And I, a 21 year old guy, would buy my first Barbie.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:05 PM on February 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm offended by the glasses

I'm offended that you think glasses make a doll less appealing. Especially cute ones like those.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:20 PM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


So they're just saying "computer engineer barbie"...but it seems more like "celebrity blogger barbie". Yeah...she pretty much dresses like what I'd expect Perez Hilton to dress like if he wasn't fat.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:04 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think her face should look more like this, she should be wearing this shirt, and yes, carrying a Macbook and a BIG travel cup of coffee/Coke/diet Coke.
posted by misha at 6:12 PM on February 13, 2010


My Barbie-loving friend loves this, although she wants a brunette too.

Me? I think it's great. Barbie was always fantasy -- I always knew I wasn't going to grow up to look like that (because, well, partially, I wasn't 11 inches tall) but she was someone I could put my desires on. I see Computer Engineer Barbie this way: If some tech-loving 6-year-old sees this Barbie and realizes, hey, she can work with computers and still like pink and be cute (because that's what 6-year-old girls want -- at least some of them), then that's awesome.

And sure, maybe enough time has passed since the 1992 "Math class is tough!" Talking Barbie that people have forgotten about it, but maybe we haven't come very far. Barbie's still mostly a Dream Bride and a fashion model or whatever in most people's eyes. I can't see anything bad wit her being a computer engineer, at least for a little while.
posted by darksong at 6:18 PM on February 13, 2010


I'm offended by the glasses

That's what happens when you squint at computer screens all day.
posted by delmoi at 6:21 PM on February 13, 2010


I personally want to see Barbie the Computer Engineer: Student Version

Clothes: Unwashed pajamas, slippers and wrinkled, stained T-shirt from [concert/event/frosh week] and optional school jersey. No make up, armpits are unshaven, face still has crust around the lips from drooling during uneven sleep and eyes have bags underneath. Hair is disheveled but tied into a ponytail with a rubber band. Also, barbie smells like some combination of sweat, coffee, beer and nachos.

Accessories: Book bag filled brim with sandwich wrappers, crushed energy drink cans and box of leftovers that mom delivered a week ago. Bargain laptop that dual boots Linux and pirated Windows for weekend LAN parties. Bargain cellphone (prepaid) with no minutes left. Set of unopened 3kg second/third hand calculus and core subject textbooks. First aid kit of Ibuprofen and ziploc bag of ganja.

Comes with lecture hall folding seat with missing folding desk attachment (not that it matters, damn things aren't big enough to hold anything anyway), optional badly rusted 20-year-old shitbox for a car and finally a bi-annual mail from loan agency explaining how after graduation, you'll be their slave for the next X decades.
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 6:21 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah...she pretty much dresses like what I'd expect Perez Hilton to dress like if he wasn't fat.

Maybe you should go to more nerdfests then. I was at LCA2010 and many of the terrifyingly smart[1] women liked fancy clothes, and some of them liked *pink* fancy clothes.

Your preconceptions of geek women may not match reality.

[1] As in, "You're whacking out code in an hour it takes a mere mortal days to grind through" terrifying, not "smart women are terrifying".
posted by rodgerd at 6:40 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your preconceptions of geek women may not match reality.

Not that I care about this stuff at all, but I think the Ugly Betty doll is a closer fit for the godawful stereotype. And why is she wearing a watch? She'd have the time on her cell phone/iphone/twitter/facebook/monitor - get with the century, Mattel or Hasbro or whoever the hell it is that makes this crap.
posted by peppito at 6:55 PM on February 13, 2010


I like it!

By the way, watches are also accessories. They're not necessarily purely for function. I know some very lovely and fashionable engineering ladies who wear watches and have iPhones.
posted by inmediasres at 7:06 PM on February 13, 2010


Only tangentially related, but here's a copy of 'Christopher's Punctured Romance', a photostory starring John Cleese as a man who falls in love with a BarbieBarbee doll. Caution: It's a bit pit perverse and contains images of Barbie sans accessories!
posted by Sparx at 7:29 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


there SHOULD be Linux, Mac and Windows engineer Barbie.

Barbie has always had some of the niftier accessories sold separately. There's no reason she couldn't have another laptop with a penguin on it (plus two Blackberries, an iPhone, a Maemo, and several other gadgets) to make her a more realistic geek. I can't wait to see the Arduino Barbie with soldering kit and mini robots.

(Also, thanks to this recent announcement, I found out that there was a Paleontologist Barbie. Why did no one tell me?!)
posted by crataegus at 8:23 PM on February 13, 2010


Attention Mefi cell and molecular biologists: We have to get on top of this for next time.

Think how cool a biotech Barbie would be: She'd have a fuschia Pipetman set (translucent, with lots of glitter), and she'd come with a packet of life-sized slides that would glow in different colors when you stuck them under Barbie's Confocal Dream Microscope. Add-ons would include a centrifuge in the shape of a strawberry (complete with rainbow-colored Eppendorf tubes) and a Dream Gel Electrophoresis Kit that would let you print out little faux Western blots on squares of pastel filter paper.

It's a natural. I mean, for crying out loud, cell culture medium already comes in pink.

Yes, I want I set of sparkly micropipetters. I admit it. I'm not proud.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 9:41 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


"How much is a Barbie?"

"Well," she says, "we have Computer Engineer Barbie for $19.95..."

posted by ovvl at 9:49 PM on February 13, 2010


Entomologist Barbie:

~ butterfly net
~ sample jars (preferably with spiders, dragonflies and centipedes)
~ satchel (to hold the sample jars)
~ Ooooooh and a display case with pinned samples!!!

Some naphthalene as an enclosed scent packet would top it all off to a T...
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 10:17 PM on February 13, 2010


I propose Oncologist Barbie as the next one since their toys are loaded with carcinogens.

quoting a friend
posted by krautland at 10:59 PM on February 13, 2010


My G.I. Joes are so doing her. You know. The ones with the beards.
posted by Splunge at 11:16 PM on February 13, 2010


"Well," she says, "we have Computer Engineer Barbie for $19.95..."

So...


$20 same as in town?
posted by Splunge at 11:18 PM on February 13, 2010


Yesterday, I went to buy new glasses (because, shockingly, yes, staring at a monitor all day means I need glasses).

I had seen Computer Engineer Barbie before I went out, but I hadn't paid attention, really.

Now I look at her, noting the pink laptop and the sparkly leggings and I realise something.

I BOUGHT BARBIE'S GLASSES.

(Now if I could cut and dye her hair into a nice hot pink bob, Barbie could be Web Designer Barbie and sit with me at work. I'd even paste LOLcat photos into her laptop to make the Web Designer experience complete.)
posted by Katemonkey at 2:39 AM on February 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


and a clit piercing.
posted by joetrip at 3:26 AM on February 14, 2010


joetrip, that would require her to have one, or indeed anything in that region. These days they're printing a fake-underwear "Barbie" design directly on her lack of genitalia, sometimes painting it white and sometimes just leaving it be in the flesh color, like a decorative skin rash. Creepy.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:28 AM on February 14, 2010


So, Neckbeard Ken is next, I presume?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:36 AM on February 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


We now need a Bratz griefer doll.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:07 AM on February 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love her glasses.

I wonder if the production model of the doll has something besides a string of faux-binary on the screen. Even if she was programming microchips, I have a feeling she'd be using a slightly higher-level language.
posted by trunk muffins at 10:38 AM on February 14, 2010


we have Computer Engineer Barbie for $19.95

Lemme take a stab at this:

A man walks into the toy store to get a Barbie doll for his daughter. So he asks the assistant, "How much is a Barbie?"

"Well," she says, "we have Linux Barbie for $7.95, Windows Barbie for $19.95 and Mac Barbie for $29.95.

"What's the difference between them?"

"Yeah, well, it's like this. Linux Barbie is kinda homely and hard to play with out of the box, Windows Barbie is decent looking and does everything you could want and Mac Barbie doesn't do as much as the other two but she's fabulously dressed and really pretty."
posted by MikeMc at 2:03 PM on February 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My G.I. Joes are so doing her. You know. The ones with the beards.

I hate to be the one to tell you this but...Barbie is their beard.
posted by MikeMc at 2:08 PM on February 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


(Now if I could cut and dye her hair into a nice hot pink bob, Barbie could be Web Designer Barbie and sit with me at work. I'd even paste LOLcat photos into her laptop to make the Web Designer experience complete.)

Katemonkey, you just need to look into the CRAZY world of Blythe doll customization. You can get any damn hair color you want, and directions for re-rooting it on your doll's head. Never tried to re-root a Barbie once, and only own one Blythe (mine sports fake Doc Martens, a little wool Tyrolean jacket I made for her and crazy tights...ummm, kinda "me circa 1995ish" look), but you could also get a Blythe wig and cut it down for Barbie's smaller head....

(I've said too much)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:46 AM on February 15, 2010


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